Easter Island, Chile
Ahu Tahai

An island of stone men stuck in time, adrift on the Pacific Ocean.

His memory began with a cart ride, being jolted up a tract of red soil lined by a dense tree line to a location where a strange whoosh and murmur echoed in the air. He had been the first, hoisted by dozens onto a platform of rock beyond which lay only an expanse of blue. Slowly, he had seen his brethren rise, exaggerated heads and short torsos buried in sand from as short as 1.8m to the largest several times his height at 21m. They said he came from the town of Hanga Roa as he now knew its name to be but knew not who had carved him or worked out the etchings running down his cheeks.

Now they called him Ahu Tahai, one of the many guardians of Easter Island or Rapa Nui as the islanders knew his home to be. They now said he was part of the Moai, the Rano Raraku Quarry his birthplace. Time had claimed several of his brothers such that only 397 remained. He was one of few blessed with sight and from his perch saw wild horses grazing close by an abandoned farm stead. Of greater interest was the spectral light show that he enjoyed each day since the time he could remember. It began with the sun’s descent, bathing his granite cold skin in warmth and an incandescent glow. A sight that could stump even him centuries later would without a doubt take the breath away of the humans who continued to visit him to this day.

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Tips Before You Go
Without a doubt, the mention of Easter Island would bring to mind the image of the Moai statues, some of the most intricate and intact relics left in the world. Throughout all the conjectures over how and why these statues were made, what we can agree on is the advanced nature of their construction. These were fashioned out of tuff hewed from the side of a crater found on the island. It is believed, civil war, scarce resources and disease might have whittled down the human population on the island and resulted in the destruction of several statues, but one would have to ask the locals for the complete picture.
Hanga Roa, Easter Island, Valparaiso Region, Chile